Profile Renowned artist Dwivedula Somanadha Sastry has a penchant for folk style.
Those who age gracefully remain hale and hearty with their creative yen intact ; one such person is renowned octogenarian artist Dwivedula Somanadha Sastry, who was warmly felicitated in Visakhapatnam recently. Besides being an artist, he is a good writer too with a good number of short stories and a few novels published to his credit.
His tryst with the brush came quite early thanks to the congenial and conducive ambiance in his hometown Vizianagaram, the citadel of fine arts in the north coastal Andhra.
Added to being endowed with a flair for painting, the inspiring presence and works of renowned artist and sculptor Antyakula Paidiraju in town fired his imagination and soon Dwivedula went into his fold. ‘
My Guru’s tutelage is a great blessing in my life’ he said. In his Guru’s School of Arts and Crafts at Vizianagaram way back in late 1940s, he had thorough exposure to various schools of thought in painting and its varied media on canvas. This made him study art in depth and understand Eastern and Western trends in their respective perspectives.
Though well-trained in traditional and modern styles in art, he chose folk style a la his Guru for his expression. The lasting works of his mentor in folk style, in a way, inspired him to toe that line. However, being a man of indomitable spirit of independence, he evolved into a consummate artist in his own right and his works remain free of his mentor’s influence. His penchant for folk style made him capture bucolic charms of rural life and scenic beauty of Telugu villages in their myriad shades of splendour on canvas in different media. Over six decades, he has had his paintings exhibited across the country and abroad, including the Royal Academy of Art in London.
Painting, he says, is not every one’s cup of tea for appreciation; it requires thorough exposure, if not initiation, to appreciate technicalities involved in painting.
The beauty of art on canvas may be eyecatching but there’s more than what meets the eye on canvas. Classicism in painting, in a way, acquires a touch of permanence for it can be viewed and judged even long after its time.
The reason why he opted for the folk style, he reveals, is that our pastoral life and its traditions of lasting appeal are fascinating to any artist; its idyllic beauty is manifest even in daily chores of women folk. So it was but natural choice for his expression, he avers.
On opportunities for budding artists, he says unlike during his time, now there are events like spot painting competitions to encourage children to try their hand on canvas and for grown-ups, department of fine arts in universities. However, there is little coverage of art, in spite of media explosionhe deplores.